HomeNewsPope Francis urges ‘fraternal gaze’ for refugees

Pope Francis urges ‘fraternal gaze’ for refugees

Pope Francis on Wednesday called on nations to adopt a compassionate and supportive approach towards refugees on the eve of World Refugee Day.

“Tomorrow will be World Refugee Day, promoted by the United Nations. May it be an occasion to turn an attentive and fraternal gaze to all those who are compelled to flee their homes in search of peace and security,” the pontiff said at the end of his General Audience. 

The pope called on governments to “strive to ensure humane conditions for refugees and to facilitate integration processes.

“We are all required to welcome, promote, accompany, and integrate those who knock on our doors,” said Pope Francis.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported that there were 117.3 million forcibly displaced people worldwide at the end of 2023, driven by persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations, and events seriously disturbing public order.

According to the agency, an estimated 47 million of the displaced individuals worldwide are children under 18 years of age. The agency also reported that there are 37.6 million refugees globally, including 2 million children born into refugee status.

At the end of 2023, data indicated that approximately 4.4 million stateless people were residing in 95 countries, though the true global figure is estimated to be significantly higher. 

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Additionally, 69 percent of refugees and other individuals requiring international protection were hosted in countries neighboring their countries of origin.

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